The Genesis Advisory Group is still receiving grant applications for mission enterprise zones and developing church plants which had received funding in the last triennium for a mission enterprise zone or discernment grant for those working to clarify and develop a church plant. There are four different grant applications - each for a different kind of mission planting endeavor:
- An application for Mission Enterprise Zones
- An application for Church Plants
- An application for Hybrid Ministries
- An application for a Discernment Grant
The Advisory Group considered four main factors in evaluation of grant applications:
- The person or team: A clearly identified missioner or team was given priority. Minimally, a local team was required to have a sense of the qualifications and skills needed in a church planter. Church planters supported with grant funds were required to undergo assessment to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses as related to the particular work of church planting.
- The place: A clear sense of the context and/or community to be served. Evidence of a significant amount of research regarding the context and the elements needed for a church plant to be successful in that context. Evidence that the skills and ministry background of the church planter/mission developer will be a good fit for that context.
- The plan: A clear plan and strategy for the ministry, an articulated plan for growth of the ministry, development of stewardship and/or fundraising, and an understanding of the steps needed to attain sustainability of the ministry.
- Support from the Diocese: An endorsement letter from the bishop was required. In most cases, matching funding was required, with the exception of dioceses in which financial resources are scarce. In those cases, other evidence of strong support for the project was required.
These grants are for dioceses, missioners, and church planters interested in exploring and assessing the possibilities for church planting and mission within their region with a coach or consultant. These grants are designed to fulfill the preliminary requirements of those applying for funding grants.
A. Church Plant or New Congregation
This grant is available for Church Plants and Planters with the endorsement of their Diocesan Bishop. Church plants and new congregations may assume traditional or innovative forms, but their primary gathering point is around word and sacrament, out of which their ministry flows. Examples: St. Mary Magdalene, Manor, TX; Bushwick Abbey, Brooklyn, NY; St. Peter's, McKinney, TX; Thad's, Santa Monica, CA; Nativity, Scottsdale, AZ
B. Mission Enterprise Zone (MEZ)/Missional Initiative
Mission Enterprise Zones primarily gather around ministries of service, justice, and mercy with communities of a particular demographic. Mission Enterprise Zones are experimental in nature; witness in the world is the entry point. Mission Enterprise Zones may or may not require a full-time staff person and may be designed to run for a limited amount of time. The funding required for these projects is typically less than that of a Church Plant or New Congregation. Examples of this type of project include: Laundry Love, Santa Monica, CA; The Stamford Supper Club, Stamford CT
C. MEZ-Church Plant Hybrid
This category is perhaps the most flexible and creative - intended for innovative and entrepreneurial communities in which the celebration of word and sacrament is explicitly and inextricably bound to mission in the neighborhood. Examples of this kind of project/congregation include: Southside Abbey, Chattanooga, TN; St. Gabriel's, Leesburg, VA; The Abbey, Birmingham, AL
The Rev. Tom Brackett
Missioner: New Church Starts & Missional Development
The Advisory Group on Church Planting
The Advisory Group on Church Planting invites you to join us in the exciting work of starting new congregations and missional communities across the regions of the Episcopal Church. We're convinced that our church is being called into new adventures in the "Jesus Movement" - to gather around the Holy Spirit's action in the world and to share in the Good News of God's extravagant love wherever it is to be found.